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Jed Parsons - Jed Parsons Newsletter Interview

02 Mar 2018 // An interview by ShelleySketch
Jed Parsons is a fresh young talent hailing from Christchurch. At 20 years old, Parsons is the youngest member of the ‘Fledge’ creative collective, and he is already gaining a powerful reputation in the music scene as a talented drummer and a singer/songwriter. Jed spoke to Shelley about his music:


Auckland City Limits. Congrats!

Thank you! We’re very stoked with that and looking forward to it.

How does it feel being on a line-up with people such as Grace Jones?

Yeah absolutely ridiculous. I can’t wait. Even on our stage is Thundercat, George Ezra and all these people that I’m very excited about.

Who are your favourite NZ musicians?

My favourite NZ musicians would have to be, I have a few of them. I’m really digging a lot of the stuff NZ's put out.Unknown Mortal Orchestra, well Reuben, he would have to be one of my favourites. Then Lawrence ArabiaGareth ThomasLiam Finn and all those characters of the world. Yeah just anything. I really love the indie pop rock scene in NZ and of course all the classic songwriters too.

What music do you enjoy listening to?

Just a bit of everything I suppose. I’ve got a wide range of influences from indie rock and indie pop, right through to 90's hip-hop. But at the moment I would have to say Unknown Mortal Orchestra and people like that are some real faves.

Yeah I always find that question really interesting because you get people who like play blues music for example but then they say they listen to Metallica and heavier music.

Yeah totally. I like to keep my listening quite broad because I’m aware that probably subconsciously it reflects it in my writing. I like to think that my writing has some originality to it. I like to draw influence from all over the place.

What were you doing before you launched into music?

Well music has sort of been my thing since about halfway through high school when I realised I didn’t really enjoy much else to the same level of music. If I was going to follow my passion it would be music. I’ve always done music. I’ve played in lots of different bands. I’ve always played drums in a few different bands and worked in a few different projects so yeah. The Jed Parsons solo project I guess is just a culmination of all that stuff I’ve done before.

What do you think you would be doing if you weren't performing music?

Not really. I guess that was the thing that through me into it you know. You sit down and analyse what you like in life and music was always the main passion. If it was anything else, it would have to be creatively inclined like all my brothers. I’ve got 3 older brothers and they're all creative in 1 way or another. I think it runs in the family and I’d definitely have to be doing something arty or whatever.

How would you describe your music?

I’d put it under the broad umbrella of indie pop. I would say that I’m influenced by classic song writing. I really love Neil Young and those kinds of guys. But with a modern twist of production. I think with the way I approach song writing I enjoy pop formulas, accessible formulas but with an interesting twist. Yeah, I guess that’s how I’d describe it.

Where do you get your ideas for your music videos? I just watched your video for Get Lost and it’s got so many different elements to it.

Yeah, it’s pretty wacky. I came up with the concept a wee while ago and it was always quite aesthetically driven. I knew how I wanted the shots to look and how the shots would be cut together in quick succession. And then a vague concept of the juxtaposition between a person living a boring life or whatever, well the real-world life, juxtaposed with him in an alternate reality or a dream of what he wanted to be doing. Then the production company Ruffell productions, they took it to the next level.

Yeah when I first watched the video I didn’t look into too much what it was about, but I totally got that from the video.

Cool, that’s good. Yeah, the song is from probably quite a personal point of view of analysing as a young musician, analysing your place in the world. You know you always hear as a musician “are you going to get a real job?” and all that kind of stuff. So yeah, the song is about I guess just leading a life that is a little bit unconventional. Specifically, Get Lost is obviously about getting out and travelling and seeing the world a bit as opposed to settling down and working a 9-5 and doing a standard life. So yeah that’s reflected in the music video too.

What is the strangest thing that has happened to you while playing on tour? Though you’re about to go on tour so this answer could change.

Oh yeah, okay awesome haha. I played drums in a couple of bands and 1 band I was playing in, we did a massive gig just after the earthquakes. So, there was nothing much to do but get on the road. We played with this very bizarre band, who shall remain nameless, but one of the guys in the band thought he was a bit of a Rockstar. A guy in our band accidentally broke a glass in the hotel room we were staying in and that guy said, “oh fuck it that’s alright” and he preceded to empty the kitchen drawers and break everything in sight including the big 50-inch TV. It was absolutely horrendous. But yeah, we were rolling out the next day and there were cop cars outside taking notes and stuff. Yeah it was a very bizarre tour.

But yeah playing places like Stewart Island and pubs in the middle of nowhere, often to very small crowds, was kind of where we honed our craft. So, it was good for that.

What can you never leave home without when you’re going on tour?

Probably my headphones. I always make sure I have my headphones. *voice in the background* “Girlfriend!” Haha my girlfriend is listening. Girlfriend. But yeah headphones are very important. That’s probably where I do most of my listening, on tour. But yeah, I actually tour very lightly. Most of my touring so far has been playing drums so of course you’ve got your cymbal case as your carry on and you sort of squeeze in some undies and your toothbrush wherever you can find room. But yeah, always headphones.

It’s sort of like what you have on a daily basis like when you’re commuting otherwise it’s that awkward silence on the train or bus.

Yeah exactly. I don’t really mind silence though. I quite like to think a lot. I do a lot of my writing that way just thinking and taking note of what strange thoughts pass through my brain. So, I don’t mind the silence but yeah on aeroplanes it gets a bit too much.

What rumour would you like to start about yourselves?

Oh, that’s a good one! I always thought about, not sure if it’s a rumour or not, I’m quite critical of social media these days. I thought it would be quite funny to do an entire world tour while not leaving the bedroom. So, start a rumour and just post pictures of cities from google images and say I’ve played in Antarctica or just did a sweet gig in some obscure city around the world. I think that would be a rumour to start and just see how far you can push social media. Make it out that I did a sold-out tour of Antarctica, that’d be a good one.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you?

I guess just how dedicated I am to music. It’s funny talking to non-musicians about what you do and obviously they just see the 3 minute video on YouTube and listen to your song on Spotify or whatever and they sometimes don’t realise the years, literally years, of work that goes into one of these projects. Yeah to the non-musicians to know that as musicians we work quite hard I guess.

What has got you to where you are today?

Probably just, I think the fact that I’ve played in so many different projects. Like I’ve played drums in multiple bands and done lots of collaborative writing. I think all that has got me to where I am today because I have been able to spend years observing the front man from behind the kits and observing band dynamics and things that have worked and things that haven’t worked. I’ve seen and heard stories from friends. Yeah just collaborating a lot.

So how does it feel having Get Lost out everywhere now?

It’s really really cool. I’m so stoked with it. There’s been times just having launched my solo career, I’ve been playing live with my band for a good couple of years now and there’s been so many opportunities where we could have rushed it and we could have recorded something early on and released it straight away. It’s always been so tempting. I’m glad people are picking it up and listening to it. I think that’s every musician's dream to have as many people enjoy what you’re doing as possible. So yeah, I’m stoked with the feedback so far. I’m really happy.

What are your plans for the rest of this year?

Yeah cool. So, I’ve got a bit of a tour at the moment, so about 10 dates across the country. But that’s over 2 months so nothing too strenuous. But behind the scenes there’s a couple more singles to go and I’ll be looking to release the album around July.

Well that’s about all I have. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me.

No worries. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me

 

 

About Jed Parsons

Jed Parsons is a fresh young talent hailing from Christchurch, New Zealand. At 20 years old, Parsons is the youngest member of the ‘Fledge’ creative collective, and is already gaining a powerful reputation in the music scene as a talented drummer and a singer/songwriter.

Through his success in Mike Chunn’s national secondary school song writing competition in 2010 (Play It Strange), Parsons met with some of Christchurch’s most well renowned musicians (the roots of a creative collective now known as ‘Fledge’) including Ben Campbell (Zed, Atlas, All My Brothers), Moses Robbins (Atlas, All My Brothers) and Kurt Preston (Superfood), who went on to form a hard-hitting rock band with Parsons called House Of Mountain. Within 18 months of their formation, the group had played over 70 shows together, touring extensively around the South Island of New Zealand, and as far away as the Philippines.

The boys also play as the backing bands for both acts Happiness Stan and Hera – both extremely talented singer/songwriters from Christchurch and the Fledge crew, and both of whom Parsons has recently been collaborating with as an acoustic trio.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Jed Parsons

Releases

Midnight Feast
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Live At York Street
Year: 2013
Type: Album

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